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Old Migrants, New Immigration And Anti-Chinese Discourse In Suriname

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Chapter Summary

Up to the 1990s, ethnic Chinese in Suriname were ethno-linguistically homogenous; virtually anyone with a Chinese background could trace his or her roots back to Kejia-speakers from the Fuidung'on-region on the Hong Kong periphery, particularly Dongguan. The anti-Chinese discourse collided with different Fuidung'on Hakka views of Chineseness to produce the beginnings of new (sub-) ethnic boundaries. A small survey of Afro-Surinamese attitudes toward other ethnic groups in 1963 revealed a relatively low opinion of Chinese. Though laiap could also be included in the newly generalized, negative meaning of "Chinese" in the media, they generally share non-Chinese and tong'ap annoyance about New Chinese. Anti-Chinese sentiments should obviously be considered in the context of wider anti-immigrant sentiments which reflect the considerable anomie in Surinamese society.

Keywords: Afro-Surinamese; Anti-Chinese discourse; Fuidung'on Hakka; laiap response



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